August 10th, 2020

Poem of the day

'Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone'

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W H Auden
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The automatic life

Learning is forever reducing, diminishing, winnowing, because it is animated by wonder, and wonder is the courageous capacity to test and prod the very ground under one’s feet in the name of determining how it all might have come to be as it is, and whether it will continue to bear you. And this is the very ground of divination. — Stephen Jenkinson, Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble (p. 96)

Good morning.

Thankfully, I've been able to put the light on in the kitchen, in our wee flat in Padstow, to aid the typing of today's post. This is because Daughter #2 and the BF have gone home and so there's a bit more room; she'll return again on Wednesday, so it will be a full house again.

Today, well, it's going to be (for me I hope) another day of walking, reading and, hopefully, my first sea swim since I arrived. The water's looked very tempting but I've not yet braved the Cornish seas.

As to the title, I'm sure you know what's coming but it's true. We nearly always or are expressed to act on automatic across so many areas of our life. It's almost like (if we're not careful) we go to sleep and wake up, and yell:

"Holy sh*t, where did my life go...?"

But, as usual, I'm exaggerating my message to get your attention. As if. 

No, I'm deadly serious. As I look back across the empty spaces of my life — there haven't been many, given my obsession with doing — I see how little time I've spent to pause for reflection, let alone to question what it's all about.

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Padstow

I'm just back from my walk with Alfie. He managed to chase a few pheasants and get himself properly mucky but then he is a Sprocker so what else do you expect!

I took a few pictures but not as many as I'd like — the light wasn't brilliant. 

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